RoosterMoney Review and Experiment
Kids Teenagers

20 Week Experiment Teaching our Kids about FI with RoosterMoney

How do you think your children would manage money if given the opportunity to earn income, pay expenses, and reap the rewards of a 20% compounding interest rate? My wife and I conducted a 20 week experiment and reviewed our kids decisions using the RoosterMoney app. Are you curious how my kids did and what can be learned from the exercise? I certainly was.

roostermoney review

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Parent Prologue: After many failed attempts, the RoosterMoney app had everything we needed for this experiment. Our whole family intends to keep using the app until they mature enough to use real money with FamZoo.  It’s very kid friendly, interactive and has many customizable options. I’m a big fan.  The app is entirely free, but as a member I can offer you and I 3 months of their PLUS features with this RoosterMoney link. Give it a try, it’s well worth it.

Kids RoosterMoney Activity Review Letter

Dear Son,

It took a while for me to find a way that would excite you about saving.  I wanted to teach you the basics of money coming in, money going out, and interest.  The idea was that Mom and Dad would act as the bank and employer.  We would pay you for chores, hold your gift money, and give you extra cash as a percentage each month based on how much you saved.

We tried spreadsheets, but you couldn’t see that real time and was difficult to edit your account balance when you wanted that checkout counter fun dip.  We tried buying stock you love (Disney & Walmart) to watch it grow, but the daily price changes drove you nuts.  We did wall charts, notebooks, popsicle stick chores, and all that nonsense you see other parents doing. None of it worked.  After trying several apps, I finally discovered RoosterMoney and you and your sister loved it.

You added your own savings goals and uploaded profile pictures.  Reviewed the daily chores needed to earn your allowance and the extra jobs to make even more money.  You managed the transfers in your wallet and bank.  The initial competition between you both and ever changing profile pictures was fun to watch.  Your mom and I can see all your activity, statements, and can add or remove money wherever we are.  Made it simple and easy for us all, but how did you do?  Did you save what we discussed or did you spend it all?

The Kids Savings Plan

When we started RoosterMoney, I encouraged you to only spend 50% of what you earned and let the rest make free money in the form of interest. With the chores provided and an interest rate of 20%, after 20 weeks you’re account should look like this:

Week 4 – $20.34
Week 8 – $41.02
Week 12 – $62.04
Week 16 – $83.41
Week 20 – $105.13

A free $5.13 by spending half of what you earn and letting the rest invest and compound.

Kids Income – Allowance Money

We set the allowance to just $1 per week, but only included what we need you to do everyday. You must have submitted your completion daily to receive the full allowance at the end of the week.  This was to simulate how adults use a time card to get paid for their workday.

empty backpack chore to earn money

do homework chore to earn money

empty dishwasher chore to earn money

Kids Income – Extra Chore Money

These extra chores are a way to earn money as if you own a business or do freelance work.  They are optional.  You can do as much or as little as you want.  My intent was to provide you an incentive and motivate you to earn.

clean bedroom chore for money

For cleaning your bedroom top to bottom each month you’d receive $1.

do a nice deed chore for money

Doing a nice deed for your sister would provide $0.25 a day.

do the laundry chore for money

If you loaded the washing machine and dryer, we would pay you $0.25 once a week.

feed cats chore for money

Feeding the cats every day earns you $0.25 each time.

good report card for money

If your report card comes back with great results, you’ll have a cool 3 extra dollars.

load the dishwasher for money

Loading the dishwasher twice a week gives you an extra dollar.

put clothes away for money

Putting your own laundry away is $0.30 two times per week.

rake leaves chore for money

When fall hits, you could earn 5 dollars for helping Daddy rake the leaves.

set the table chore for money

Setting the table each night earns you $0.25 daily.

shovel the deck chore for money

When the blizzards come, Dad will give you 3 dollars to save his back by shoveling the deck.

Kids Expenses – Out Going Money

We wanted you to understand that not only does money come in, but money goes out.  You need to support a lifestyle so we setup two routine expenses each week. You’ll need to pay $0.25 as a contribution to the family’s Netflix subscription.  You both recently received a budget mobile phone for emergencies and to take with you on sleepovers or various activities when neither Mom or I are around.  Your share of the phone cost is $0.50 for a mandatory weekly cost of $0.75… easily covered by your allowance.

If you do all the requirements to earn your allowance and all extra chores, you’ll earn roughly $40 every 4 weeks. That’s a boatload of cash for your age, but would be a great help to the household and an even more valuable lesson about money.  If we stick to the 4 week budget plan…$20 should be saved, $3 to cover mandatory expenses, and $17 you can use for toys, candy, and fun.  You are a kid after all.  How close were you to saving what we discussed?

Kids RoosterMoney Savings Results

This is your total Income vs Expenses in the RoosterMoney app.  You can use your math skills to divide the income by 20 to get your weekly results or by 5 for the 4 week plan, but here is the summary for the first 20 weeks.

roostermoney review 20 weeks

The first thing I want to say is well done for not spending more than you earned, despite pleas to borrow from Mom and Dad.  Borrowing money to get what you want rather than what you need is a lesson I hope you have learned.  The bad part is that you are doing what many adults are doing now.  It’s called “living paycheck to paycheck.”  Money comes in and goes out at the same rate.  You have nothing left to save that will make money for you.  $1 left in your account is not doing much good. Your sister has over $100 in her RoosterMoney account, so I’ve addressed this letter to you my boy.

Review Your Successes

  • You kept expenses lower than income which is critical to staying out of debt.
  • You submitted most of your allowance chores showing discipline in getting paid for your time.
  • I’m very proud of your great report cards.  The effort it takes to be at the top of your class will pay off later. You’ll stop earning grades at some point, but never stop learning.
  • Added your extra cash to savings took advantage of the 20% interest allowing your money to make money. This is the critical point of investing.
  • You paid your mandatory expenses on time.  In the real world, you’d typically have to pay late fees or interest – if your expenses are greater than your income.

Review Your Failures

  • Did not earn nearly as much money as you could have.  The time it takes to do many of these chores is minimal compared to the money you could make.  Laziness will get you no where in life.  I don’t know if you hate your sister or what, but doing one nice deed for her a day could have been $35 by now – you only made $4.
  • What adults call “discretionary spending” are costs associated with things you want rather than need.  I noticed you spent $50 on a Nerf gun your cousin had.  Seems like you didn’t want him to have something you didn’t.  You were also impatient when you bought a movie on demand rather than waiting for a rental.  It’s OK to spend money on this.  We do it all the time with sports and family vacations.  You just need to make sure it doesn’t get out of control.  Don’t try to keep up with those around you or become accustom to instant gratification.  In the future, try to maintain the planned savings rate while building excess funds to purchase luxury items.
  • We didn’t plan for any “Other” expenses, but you should fear the wrath of your mother when you misbehave.  Do something naughty – get warned.  Do the same thing again – get 2nd warning.  Do it three times and -$0.25.  Continue the behavior, and you’re down a dollar in no time.  Lesson learned, right?  Only happened once.

Maximum Possible Savings

Let me show you how much money you could have if you only covered your 3 dollars every 4 weeks of mandatory expenses, completed all chores, and earned the 20% interest on your remaining balance.

Week 4 – $37.67
Week 8 – $75.87
Week 12 – $114.76
Week 16 – $154.26
Week 20 – $194.48

$9.48 of free money by saving as much as possible and letting the free money build on itself.

If you accomplished this, I would say “Congratulations kido, you are financially independent.” You have enough money saved that the interest generates over your $3 required expenses.  You never have to do a chore again. 20 weeks of hard work got you there.  You never have to earn another penny to cover your mandatory expenses.  This is the concept I’m trying to teach you.  Once the money earned from your savings can cover expenses, you no longer have to do anything you don’t want to do to make money.  You can choose to do what you want, when you want, while your previous work pays the bills.

Let me make this last point to drive home long term investing. Assuming we had done this for 10 years, didn’t add anymore expenses, and stuck to the maximum savings possible…Mom and Dad would owe you $18,875 and you could still spent most of any gift money on fun stuff.   That’s how amazing saving + compound interest + limiting expenses are.  At the basic level, the key to being rich is to increase income and decrease expenses.  Take this experience with you as you get older and I’ll be very proud.

Parent Epilogue

I can’t recommend RoosterMoney enough for parents with children in the chores and allowance age. Through my membership with RoosterMoney, take a free 3 month test drive of the PLUS version and see if your kids can do better than mine.  If your kids are a bit older, I would look into FamZoo and start using real money instead.

Below are some additional ideas.

roostermoney review of pocket index

Kylven Ross is the owner and primary contributor of theFIway.com. He has been married for 17 years and is father to a son and daughter living in New England. Professional accomplishments include a bachelor’s degree and industry certifications in the cyber sector. He has spent the last 18 years working in the U.S. Defense Industry and as a Military Police Officer.

He discovered the concept of Financial Independence (FI) during a rather stressful year in the compliance space. After fully absorbing the benefits of FI, he has since committed to turning his household’s finances in the right direction. His experiences are documented as a series of letters that are used to educate his children and others about money. He does not want the next generation to make the same mistakes, but rather achieve financial freedom and find happiness.

Kylven is not a financial advisor, tax expert, or investment professional. Investment and retirement planning activities should not be considered professional advice. Consult a licensed financial advisor for questions regarding your own situation.

We attempted to teach our children about money and Financial Independence with a 20 week experiment. Take a look at how they managed income, expenses, and savings by reviewing their RoosterMoney statement. This is a glimpse at how real kids utilized the app.  #realestate #landlord #property

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7 Comments
  1. Reply

    Enzo

    March 22, 2018

    Hi, I love Rooster Money. I had to not give my kids their pocket money last week because they drew all over the sofa with markers. Thanks to Google, nail polish remover got rid of it but the kids learnt their lesson. I love the way rooster money allows you to make notes which will be great to look back on in the future.
    Is the summary picture above created with the full version?
    Thanks

    • Reply

      Kylven Ross

      March 23, 2018

      The large infograph is from RoosterMoney themselves as it provides some examples for everyone. Personally, I customized everything and went through the Roostermoney statements for each child and then put it into a typical budget spreadsheet to compare income vs expenses. We had an initial talk about what I expected of them, but I left it up to kids to decide what to do with their money and we’ll revisit their decisions in 4 months. The notes came in quite handy for this as Mom took full advantage of misbehavior deductions. No other punishment has been so effective for us than virtual cash. We could also record their various purchases and ask them to reflect on if it was worth it later on. Do they get any value or fun from what they spent their money on now then when first purchased.

  2. Reply

    Enzo

    March 23, 2018

    Can I ask how old your kids are? I have 4 year old twins and am using the three jar method at the moment backed up by Rooster Money for account keeping until they are ready to use the app. We want them to physically see the money not just a value on the screen. We give $1 for each year so $4 each per week split into $1 give, $1.50 save and $1.50 spend. We also give them bonuses such as remembering our phone numbers and our street address.

    • Reply

      Kylven Ross

      March 23, 2018

      Mine are 11 and 9 currently. That’s a great idea about the phone number and address…so important at that age.

  3. Reply

    Jason@WinningPersonalFinance

    March 29, 2018

    I really enjoyed this overview. My sons are still under four so I think it’s a bit too early to introduce this to them. I love the idea though. Teaching your kids about earning, budgeting, compounding all in one app! Wow! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Reply

    Kylven Ross

    March 29, 2018

    No problem Jason.

    4 years old is a bit early I agree. Better off with the fundamentals of math and reading at that age.

  5. Reply

    Kylven Ross

    May 29, 2018

    10 Weeks later (30 Weeks total). I may have to up the ante with my son. Is it true that Women are better with Money? Maybe so.

    Roostermoney Review Update

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Introducing the Financial Independence (FI) Way of Life is one of the greatest gifts parents could give to their children. A strong foundation of Financial Literacy, at a young age, can drastically improve the pursuit of happiness. The path to Financial Freedom is not taught in schools and may be discovered when it’s too late to have a meaningful impact on life. Parent your children to prosperity theFIway. Through a series of letters to the next generation, we share experiences and knowledge to help others achieve Financial Independence. Please follow us on Social Media for immediate updates.

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